Boy who suffered brain injury in near-drowning at hotel pool settles court action for €2.5m

28 October 2021

An 11-year old boy who suffered a brain injury in a near drowning accident in a hotel swimming pool has settled his High Court action for €2.5m.

The youngster, who was not able to swim when the accident happened at the Arklow Bay Hotel, Co Wicklow, suffered the brain injury after he was found submerged in the pool on Christmas Eve seven years ago.

The boy, who cannot be named by order of the court, had been on a Christmas break with his mother and grandmother.

His counsel Liam Reidy SC told the court the family had gone to the swimming pool which was in a separate building to the hotel.

Counsel said the boy could not swim and he was in the children’s pool and in the main pool with his mother.

CCTV footage, he said, showed the child joined the mother in the main pool on one or two occasions and she led him back to the children’s pool.

Counsel said he was in the children’s pool when the mother got out of the main pool to get dressed and she thought he would follow her.

The boy’s grandmother was poolside and “momentarily could not see him”.

He was found submerged in the hotel swimming pool by the father of another child and he was resuscitated and transferred by helicopter to Temple Street Children’s Hospital.

He spent nine weeks in Temple Street and later transferred to another hospital for a prolonged stay.

The boy, who is now 17,through his mother sued Hudson Lloyd Hotel Group Ltd trading as the Arklow Bay Hotel, Arklow, Co Wicklow as a result of the accident on December 24, 2014.

It was claimed while using the swimming pool he suffered a near drowning accident there was an alleged failure to take any or any adequate precautions for the safety of the child while using the pool and an alleged failure to have a lifeguard on duty at the time he was in the pool.

It was further claimed there was a failure to notice he had got into difficulties.

All the claims were denied.

Mr Reidy told the court the issue in the case was whether there should have been a pool attendant and the hotel would allege that the mother had allegedly signed a document saying she was taking full responsibility for her son in the pool.

Counsel said the child was also with his mother and grandmother and 11 years of age at the time.

Mr Reidy said the boy had a mild learning difficulty before the accident and now has a moderate difficulty.

Counsel said he has made a remarkable physical recovery and can now walk unaided. He said the €2.5m settlement represents half the value of the case.

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